Shattered Earth

A/N: I am not a writer, but I have had these scenes in my head since I first played Mass Effect 2. I finally wrote them down and decided to publish them. This is my first time writing for the public. Please be gentle in your criticism. This is my vision of the reunion between Kaidan and Emelia Shepard at the beginning of Mass Effect 3. Since it is still a couple of months until the game comes out I have kept my scenes to personal interactions only. I don't want this to be completely irrelevant once the game comes out.

18 Feb 11: Fixed some errors and put in the separators that somehow disappeard. Also, changing Kaidan's rank now the demo is out. 2 ranks in 2 years was plausible, but I'm angry they made it 3. That is pushing it.

Emelia Shepard, survivor of Mindoir, Elysium and (mostly) paragon.

Shepard watched sadly as Anderson trotted away from the Normandy. She hadn't been expecting him to send her on her way and stay behind. She had known Anderson since early on in her military career and looked up to him as almost a father figure.

As Shepard stood on the ramp of the Normandy she saw movement in the distance and watched the little boy get on the Alliance shuttle and felt a swell of hope wash over her. At least this one little boy she had watched playing on his roof for the last several weeks would survive. Despite the carnage all around them this one little life proved to her the importance of fighting.

As she began to turn away from the cargo ramp she noticed a dark shape in the distance. Turning back to the scene she saw the Reaper laying waste to the city. She watched as the shuttle door closed and the craft took off. She knew it was too late as the Reaper let out a beam of destructive light. The shuttle banked hard, but the Reaper's weapon caught it and it exploded before Shepard's horrified gaze.

Shepard closed her eyes against the pain of the loss of that boy and so many others. One more death to add to her long list of losses. She didn't know the boy, but she felt his death as keenly as the deaths of those she had known. Sadly she turned as the ramp closed. Taking a deep breath she headed for the bridge. Despite her weariness she had a job to do. The Reapers were here and she had to stop them.

Kaidan was already standing behind Joker's chair as the helmsman piloted the Normandy through the enemy. Shepard joined him and watched with tense helplessness as the sheer number of Reaper ships attacking Earth became apparent.

James Vega came jogging into the cockpit. "Shepard," he started, but she waived at him to be silent.

The Normandy shuddered under a couple of hits as they left orbit and Joker piloted the ship away from Earth. "Damage?" Shepard barked.

-Negligible damage to hull and systems- The ships VI stated in flat tones. Shepard noticed the change in inflection and missed the emotional resonance of EDI when she had been a full AI. When the Cerberus crew left the Normandy they had taken the AI portion of EDI's programming with them. No need to let the Alliance know just how powerful the AI was.

"Shepard, we can't leave!" Vega said with emotion. "We have to defend Earth! We can't leave all those people helpless!"

Shepard turned to face the large, muscular Lieutenant. "Even the Normandy won't make a difference, James. We need to gather allies and come back with a force large enough to take the Reapers out."

"But-" James sputtered, but the words died as he looked at the calm face of Lt. Commander Emelia Shepard. He nodded sadly and looked at the floor.

"Destination, Commander?" Joker asked quietly.

"The Citadel," Shepard answered. "I doubt they will actually do anything, but that needs to be our first stop."

"I agree," Kaidan said quietly. "The Citadel is the best place to start. With the information about Earth perhaps the Council will act."

"Riiight," Joker muttered. "Course laid in, Commander. Twenty minutes to the relay. We'll be at the Citadel in just under four hours."

Shepard turned away from Kaidan and looked at Joker. "I'll be in –"

"Med-bay," Kaidan interrupted her. Shepard spun around and leveled a glare at him.

"Is that an order, Major?" she spat in anger.

Kaidan out-ranked her now and had been put in command of her ship. She truly was angry. She was angry that he was here as she had wished for, but it wasn't the same. They were separated by Horizon and Cerberus. She was angry that Earth had fallen to the Reapers and she was angry that everything she had been through in the last three years was for nothing.

Shepard welcomed the anger and held onto it. The anger helped keep her going; it pushed the despair into the background for the moment.

"Yeah, you two need to decide on the chain-of-command," Joker said tersely. "I'm not playing 'Mom said, Dad said'."

"You might be injured, Shepard. You just ran a battlefield with no armor," Kaidan said quietly. The concern in his eyes nearly undid her resolve, but she held tight to the anger before it could slip away.

"I'm fine," She replied tersely. Kaidan and Emelia stood there for a few minutes looking at each other before Shepard broke eye contact and looked at Vega. "James, get down to weapons control and make sure everything is good. Stand by in case we encounter resistance at the relay."

"Aye, aye, Ma'am," Vega gave her a smart salute and left the bridge.

"I'll be in my quarters," Shepard said quietly and left. She heard Kaidan call her name, but she didn't turn or slow down.

Emelia entered her quarters and let out a deep sigh. She scrubbed at her tired eyes and could feel the grime on her face. She needed a shower. She looked around her and was surprised to see everything was the same as she had left it. The Alliance techs hadn't removed her few possessions.

Shepard knew she should feel happy about that fact, but she felt numb. Kaidan was here! How many months had she wished for this very thing? Now he was here and it wasn't the same. After their encounter on Horizon she really wasn't sure what his feeling were for her. She still loved him deeply, but he had been so angry with her and he had called her a traitor for working with Cerberus. The pain of his rejection hadn't lessened with the passage of time.

Shepard rubbed her eyes again and pushed away the hurt that memory caused her. Shower first, you can figure out how you feel about Kaidan later, she told herself.

She walked over to the wardrobe and began to look for a change of clothes. She took a hanger off the rack and looked at the uniform. The yellow Cerberus logo was prominent at the collar. In disgust she threw the garment on the floor and took out another, and then another and another. Cerberus. Every single one had the Cerberus logo! Shepard's frayed nerves gave over to anger as each piece was hurled to the floor.

Shepard opened the armor compartment under the wardrobe and pulled out her old armor. The Cerberus logo was stamped garishly on the left chest. She threw the armor on the floor with all her strength and a strangled roar of rage. With no other articles of clothing to vent her feelings on, Shepard kicked the pile of clothing and stomped up the stairs to sit at her desk.